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  Shot of the Week: Golden Hayner Special! Item number: 260315710824

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Each edition of SOTW will begin with some stats on sales in the past 28 days to give us all a sense of where the hobby is going.  In the past four weeks, 123 pre-pro glass auctions closed, 16 closed with no bidder, average price of the glasses that sold was $43.03.  7 glasses sold for >$100, none sold for >$1,000. 

Greetings and Merry Christmas to all out there in pre-pro land!  I hope Santa dropped a few pristine shots into your stocking on his way back up the chimney last night, and if not, we have some LOVELY glasses on the sales page here at pre-pro to bring you cheer in the New Year. 

So we're officially in recession.  Well duh.  Who'd have guessed.  So how do I a get a job in the institution that makes official calls like that.  The fact that there are now more people living in cardboard boxes under bridges and overpasses than in actual homes must have been a BIG clue that something was wrong with the economy, don't you think? 

Economic woes are clearly impacting our collecting brethren because I've received three requests to buy out long-time collectors in recent weeks, and the need to cash in on glass is likely to continue into 2009.  But from an investment point of view, pre-pro glass is still a better bet that the stock market and the rare glasses continue to produce stunning returns even today.

Stunning returns was clearly the theme on eBay over the past month, with a bevy of Golden Hayners that must have the original owners putting their feet up in front of a roaring fire and positively beaming with Yuletide delight.  Before getting to specifics, here's an interesting little tale.  You may or may not have caught this, but about a month ago, four "Cedar Leaf" glasses were listed by ndauctioneer4u:

The glasses have a monogram "BG" -- the brand and its origins are unknown. 

A day later, the seller pulled the auction with the usual "The seller ended this listing early because the item is no longer available for sale" error message that tells you someone has weaseled off with them.  Hmmm.  So oldwhiskey dropped the seller a little note asking if there were any others tucked away, since when there are four, there are often more.  The reply was disappointing: "I don't have any more of them. Could you tell me what you think these are worth and a little history about them. Sorry for asking but I think I may have sold them too cheap - but I don't know. I still have them in my possession but they are sold".

Well duh and double duh.  Why DO sellers ever fall for the "let's make a deal" routine?  I never understood that.  Oh well.....

A day later, the glasses had miraculously become UNsold and had now relisted.  This time the auction ran full term and the four fell for $108.50 to Kurt Holzman wearing his wheelingwhiskey hat, with oldwhiskey nipping at his heels. 

Talking of Kurt, he has three unwanted glasses running on eBay at the moment.  Maybe he needs extra cash for Christmas gifts, so let's all be charitable and drop a bid or two...  nhsam has a bid on one of them and  dlfrench134 has a bid on the other two, but I'm sure they could easily be dislodged.  Be sure to leave nice feedback, ya hear.

Golden Hayner #1:  A lovely embossed Harvest King from Danciger Bros of Kansas City, MO.  These glasses have become so common that sellers can barely give them away.  This one was won in a live auction by taw35f, who somehow managed to bid himself up from $10 to $20 with no competition, and then is faced, not only with horrendous shipping costs traditionally associated with live auctions, but also a 15% buyer's premium.  Ouch.
Golden Hayner #2:  Eight separate Benton, PA enthusiasts slugged it out for the right to buy this dog from the McHenry distillery - there's barely a label left to tell where it came from, but apparently there was enough to justify the final price of $80.09 to lucky winner snm45!  Ouch Ouch. 
Golden Hayner #3:  Well, more on #3 later....  

'Tis the season for pretty enameled baubles to show up for sale and this year was no exception.  The first was the W.W.W. Rye from Angelo Myers of Philadelphia, shown at left below.  This is probably an old -- as in 1890's old -- glass.  A larger tumbler glass bearing the same insciption has appeared a couple of times on eBay but this is the first time I'd seen the smaller shot for sale, even though it is a listed glass.  Ed Sipos (azsaloon) sat on this one early, but was quickly outbid by goldhayner, who in turn was outbid by lakerdude33. Arky Joe and bluroc then went back and forth as couple of times, but ultimately the glass fell to a snipe from atakeda  for $331. 

Akiro Takeda routinely flattened virtually all competition on rare glasses when I first joined eBay, but then he disappeared from the winners list as prices on enamels began to soar.  The prime culprit was junkmoney, who has a voracious appetite for enamels.   But with Bill now laying low, prices have dropped and atakeda is once again a force to be reckoned with: he also took the Korbel's bar glass shown at center below.  My database shows that he already owns two of the regular shot variants so you think he'd take a pass on the most recent one to appear on eBay (shown at right below).  This latest example has some rim damage and has lost its gold curlicues, which impacts desirability and value, but atakeda stomped on jeffstateglass, oldwhiskey and xxxtruk (among others) in an attempt to grab it, finally pushing nuffbarn (the winner) up to $183.50.




Back to the Golden Hayners.  The Korbel's glass at center above was a part of a collection of branded Chicago shots and depression glasses offered for sale by mrjetson.    One rare glass in a grouping is enough to make any seasoned collector sit up and take note, but there were two other glasses that piqued the curiosity of all the eBay regulars.  They were also from Francis Korbel & Bros., but they appeared to be enamel transfer glasses -- often referred to as "lugs" here because Barb Edmonson believed the labels to be covered with a veneer of glass.

oldwhiskey salivated Pavlovian style when they first listed - but where-oh-where to set a snipe? 

The problem is that the Korbel name is well-known to modern imbibers because, while the company has pre-pro origins, it still exists today.  Hence the two glasses could have post-Repeal origins - as late as the '40s of '50s, perhaps.   The fact that they are unlisted and previously unknown also made me leery, but I figured they had to be worth a gamble and dialed a healthy 3-digit number into the sniper on both auctions. 

Given the likelihood of intense competition for the two, I didn't really expect to win even one of them unless virtually everyone on pre-pro land was asleep.  A day later, I received an e-mail asking about the origins of the glasses from Arky Joe, so I pretty much wrote both off as being lost causes.

$515 $585.99


Ultimately I won both.  The runners-up list featured everyone and their sister, including goldhayner, shot-head, lakerdude33, nuffbarn, azsaloon and bluroc, but now I was the proud owner of two questionable glasses and a final invoice that was sobering, to say the least. 

In an attempt to find out more about them, I asked the seller about the circumstances by which he had come by them.  Yes, this was rather like shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted, but here's the reply:

"I actually thought those two may be novelties as opposed to items actually related to prohibition. Initially the hand painted Kobel's led me to believe it was a novelty. It wasn't until I saw one of the scanned pages on your site showing the hand painted logo that I realized that it may be more than a novelty.

I picked these up at a resale shop in Oak Park, Il. It was run by a friendly old man who I think, was second in command to his wife but his wife passed away. I mostly purchased depression glass from him and other odds and ends that I would later sell on ebay. The funny thing about him was that most collectible items were priced accordingly and he would charge you the prices marked. But if you said something like "can you give me a deal on this group of items?" He would give me some amazing discount. I bought pen/pencil collections, toothpick holders, depression glass, old books and other stuff.

So the shot glasses sat on a table for the longest time and I ignored them because I mainly collected depression glass patterned shot glasses.  But eventually I asked him what he wanted for all of them and he said $10. I think if you added up the price tags on each shot, they would have costed me about $100. At one point he said he was thinking of selling his stock and retiring, and eventually I drove by his shop and it was gone.

So all along I was unaware of their value and I didn't even display them with my other shots at home because they weren't colorful like the patterned glass.  I would have sold them sooner but I never got any encouraging search results on ebay. I finally decided to thin out my collection and included them with the depression shots, which in the end, turned out to not generate much interest at all. All in all its been quite an experience watching this lot of auctions come to a close."

You can just imagine the trepidation with which I opened the heftily-insured package that arrived a couple of days ago.  What I found inside was "interesting", to say the least.  The glasses are classic pre-pro size and shape, but a little heavier than usual.  The labels are very different from those found on classic lugs, such the Old Thompson or Old KY Home Club: instead they appear to be the same kind of early transfer technology.  The same type of label can be found on one of the Black Cat glasses.  Thus, if I had to make a guess, I'd have to say these are very late pre-pro era, perhaps dating to the year immediately preceding enactment of the Volstead act in 1920.

The Poo-Bah greets this discovery with peals of rollicking laughter and awards the first ever Double Golden Hayner to oldwhiskey, for going above and beyond the call of duty in entertaining SOTW regulars.  So be it.

Since it is Christmas and the Poo-Bah is heaping scorn and ridicule on oldwhiskey for the two Korbels, it seems only fitting that he can also award him the SOTW for a genuine lug, albeit a political one.  The glass appeared as a part of a live auction.  I hadn't had the chance to sign up prior to the deadline for leaving an absentee bid, so I was forced to bid live if I wanted a chance to win it.  The auctioneer was closing bids on items at a pace of roughly one every 10 seconds, making this the most bizarre eBay experience I've had.  There was no time to click, wait for the bid to be transmitted, processed, and to come back to my computer, so I basically clicked at a rate of about 5 Hz on the "BID" button until the screen froze.  Ultimately I won it for $70, but the buyer's premium added $15.75 and shipping came in $12.05.  Imagine if every auction on eBay was run like that! 

William McKinley Portrait Clear Campaign Shot Glass. 

The glass, 2.25" tall, has an enameled transfer of McKinley on the front. Some wear to the gold around the portrait, else, excellent condition.


Time to go start preparing Christmas dinner. 

In writing this last edition of SOTW for 2008, I realized that I just passed my 10th anniversary as a bidder on eBay and that this will be the 7th year of writing SOTW for http://www.pre-pro.com/.   I hate to think how many thousands of glasses and rivers of $$$ have passed under the bridge in this time, but collecting these old glasses still gives me tremendous pleasure and satisfaction.  Each glass holds a small piece of history.   Think of the stories they could tell.

And even with all of the idiotic and self-destructive changes that eBay has enacted in recent months following the departure of Meg Whitman, it's still a rich and entertaining way to grow a collection.  Let's hope 2009 proves to be just as fruitful as previous years.

That's all folks - wishing everyone a very Happy New Year and see you all on eBay in 2009!  Hmmm, I may just have to seize the Christmas spirit by the throat, shake it a couple of times, and go bid on one of Kurt's glasses.....


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choices for SOTW in the Archives.

Last updated: Wednesday January 28, 2009
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